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WFP seeks suppliers in west China

(Xinhua)

14:32, June 16, 2012

CHENGDU, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The World Food Programme (WFP) hopes to obtain direct cooperation with suppliers from the western regions of China to help more poverty-stricken countries and regions in the world, WFP officials said during a procurement mission in southwest China's city of Chengdu on Thursday.

The 2012 Chengdu Show of International Sourcing Fair (ISF) opened Thursday, attracting over 40 international enterprises and organizations, with an expected yearly procurement of 1.2 billion U.S. dollars.

Bai Jie, a WFP official, said their exhibition booths have attracted dozens of suppliers.

"The exhibition has informed suppliers in west China of our needs and standards, which will help to boost future cooperation," Bai said.

Giuseppe Saba, coordinator of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) Network, which is administered by the WFP, said during last year's Western China International Fair that the UNHRD has introduced its procurement rules, categories and quantities and expects more suppliers from western China to join future bidding.

He said their former procurement method involves middlemen or foreign companies, which costs them more money when buying goods made in China, without opportunities or channels to directly deal with Chinese suppliers.

"We strongly believe that Chinese companies can offer competitive products and services to help us improve the effectiveness of aid programs, and we should further enhance cooperation between China and the United Nations in a wider range of initiatives," said Saba.

Francois Buratto, WFP's regional procurement officer in Asia, said WFP strongly welcomes more Chinese suppliers to join the fight against poverty.

Buratto said WFP provides food and life necessities with money donated by different governments and enterprises, so WFP is obligated to meticulously plan all its expenses.

Statistics show that China donated a total of 64.5 million U.S. dollars to WFP as of the end of 2011. The country will donate another 5 million U.S. dollars in 2013.

China is playing an increasingly crucial role in aiding and supporting programs, said Brett Rierson, director of World Food Program (WFP) China.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian aid organization dedicated to fighting starvation. Statistics show that WFP provides about 3.7 million tonnes of food aid every year, benefiting 90 million people from over 70 countries.

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